Basic Black Beans
Pick over and sort beans, then rinse under cold water and transfer to a large bowl. Add 3 quarts cold water, cover, and soak at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours.Advertisement
Drain and rinse the beans; transfer to a large pot or Dutch oven and cover with at least 2 inches of water.
Stir in onion, garlic, bay leaves, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
Discard the onion pieces, garlic, and bay leaves. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a serving dish or storage container. (Reserve cooking liquid for soups or stews, if desired.)
To make ahead: Cooked beans will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week and in the freezer for up to 3 months.